Convicted of a Crime? You Might Lose Your Civil Rights
Many of our clients contact us after speaking to the police or getting arrested, and their primary concern is to avoid prison. However, there are many negative consequences of being convicted as a felon in Florida, and losing your civil rights are some of the worst.
If you have been accused of a felony, you need an aggressive criminal defense attorney who can fight to get the charges dropped or reduced. Contact a Daytona Beach criminal defense attorney today.
Convicted Felons Cannot Vote
No civil right is more important than voting. By participating in elections, we hold government officials accountable and engage in a dialogue with our fellow citizens about the direction of our state and nation.
Unfortunately, Florida strips felons of their right to vote. You will lose the ability to vote while in prison and even after your release. This means you can have repaid your debt to society, but you will never be able to vote again. You might be surprised that Florida can do this—but it is entirely Constitutional!
Convicted Felons Cannot Sit on a Jury
Jury duty sounds like a drag to many people, so losing this right might not strike you as a serious loss. But participating in a jury is another way that we serve our communities and make our voices heard. Taking away a felon’s right to serve on a jury is a very petty thing for Florida to do, but thousands of felons lose this right every year.
Convicted Felons Cannot Possess Firearms
The right to own a firearm is protected by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. However, states can prohibit felons from possessing guns, and Florida has done just that. It is illegal for a convicted felon to have a firearm unless it is an antique firearm made before 1918 or a replica of an antique firearm.
Hunters can still hunt with a crossbow, but they cannot use a firearm without breaking the law. Many clients are surprised that they can lose gun rights for a felony conviction, but it is entirely legal for Florida to do this.
Losing the ability to possess a firearm can create many inconveniences, hunting being only one. For example, some jobs, such as being a security guard, might require that you have a gun. Losing your gun rights makes it that much harder to get one of these jobs.
How to Protect Your Civil Rights
At Bundza & Rodriguez, our Daytona Beach criminal defense attorneys always keep your civil rights in the forefront of our mind when defending you. We work vigorously to get charges reduced or, ideally, dismissed. Doing so will allow you to keep your civil rights and likely stay out of jail.
When meeting with an attorney, make sure he or she explains all of the collateral consequences that come with a criminal conviction. Difficulty finding a job or apartment are two of the more well-known. Losing your civil rights can be just as devastating.
Contact Bundza & Rodriguez today. We offer potential clients a free consultation where we can discuss their case and advise them about the best path forward. To schedule yours, please call us or fill out our online contact form.